How crowdsourcing can help you find and engage with talent?

If your job involves recruiting the top talent for a company, you understand just how difficult the process can be. Finding viable candidates that are worth the cost of training is typically time-consuming, and unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the best applicants will find their way to the company. This is why Visage has launched its automated crowdsourcing solution for recruiters. Once you understand what the platform can do for your recruiting, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

The Problem with Traditional Recruiting

Almost every area of our lives is becoming automated in some way, so it makes sense that recruiting would move in this direction as well. Of course, just because automation is the way of the future doesn’t mean everything has to fall in line. There has to be a benefit for going this route, and the multiple problems experienced with traditional recruiting tactics easily showcase why a change is necessary.

The most obvious indication that a change in recruitment processes is coming is the increased average hiring time over the years. Between 2010 and 2015, for instance, the average hiring time in America increased by ten days. Numbers throughout the world were similar during this period. To be fair, much of this was due to increased scrutiny before making a hiring decision, but this just showcases the need for an improved way to carefully screen candidates.

It’s also worth noting just how much time recruiters and companies spend trying to bring on new talent throughout the year. When using LinkedIn to find employees, for instance, the average recruiter will spend 35 percent of their time attempting to find the right person for the job. This equates to 700 hours every year that aren’t being used to reach the company’s overall goal.

What Visage Offers Over Traditional Recruitment

At its core, the Visage platform is focused on crowdsourcing the best recruitment experts around the world to find your company highly qualified candidates. You won’t find it difficult to utilize the tool since, from your side of the platform, Visage is much like job recruitment websites you’ve likely used before. The big difference is that, instead of having the position advertised to anyone who happens to be online, the job is sent out to your industry’s recruiters from a pool of more than 3,000.

On average, the recruiters return hundreds of potential candidates within a few hours. Of course, each of these individuals will not meet your specific needs, and if you still have to sift through hundreds of applications, are you really saving any time? That’s why Visage utilizes a two-step method when potential candidates are identified.

Step 1: Triple Filtered Candidates

The vetting process utilized by Visage is one of the main reasons other recruitment tools fall short. This process starts with the sourcing work done by our community of recruiting sourcers. Their job is identify candidates that are matching exactly with your job description. The second step is our proprietary matching algorithm that compares the job description and the candidate resume, and give a matching score. The last step is a final review from a subject domain expert. We believe it’s essential to combine artificial and human intelligence to deal with the ambiguity of a job description and candidate resume.

After all, job descriptions and resumes are both created by humans, so choosing the right potential employees shouldn’t be done without its own human element. Experts in your industry will review select resumes as well to ensure only the top candidates are reaching your desk.

Additionally, having a human element helps to continuously improve our algorithm so the automated recruiting process will become better at what it does over time.

Step 2: Reaching Out to Candidates

The second step in the Visage process also works towards minimizing wasted man hours. Once the top candidates for your position have been identified, a recruitment email is sent out. You have the ability to make these emails as personal or generic as you want. Additionally, these messages are sent from your company’s email address. This ensures that your brand is never diluted.

Although the emails that are sent are completely up to you, keep in mind that personalized messages get better results. You’ll also want to avoid talking too much about the company and instead focus on what’s in it for the candidate. With the right message, this automated crowdsourcing process can accomplish great response rates.

The Benefits of Crowdsourced Recruitment

Crowdsourced recruitment offers a variety of benefits over traditional methods, and that’s exactly why Visage utilizes the process. One of the main benefits is related to cost. The average salary for a recruiter comes in at over $45,000 a year, and many of the best professionals out there can land nearly $75,000 annually. By utilizing crowdsourced recruitment, you can avoid hiring additional recruiters.

Companies also benefit from crowdsourcing since the top recruitment professionals, who they otherwise may have never encountered, will have immediate access to job postings. This equates to a faster turnover time than experienced through traditional recruitment tools like LinkedIn and other job boards. It’s also worth noting that the more than 3,000 recruiters on Visage receive immediate payment, so finding the right candidate for your job is their main focus.

Recruitment has come a long way over the past few years, but its evolution is by no means complete. Automated crowdsourcing is the future of recruitment, and companies that utilize it will see immediate cost savings and improved candidate selection. Visage is on the forefront of this technological leap forward, and as professionals around the world recognize its effectiveness, crowdsourced recruiting will simply become the way things are done.



Top 10 Tools to Finding Candidate Emails (From Our Own Sourcing Community)

Imagine you find the perfect candidate for a role, qualifications are on point, the CV looks good, all of the must-have’s for the role have been checked off, but then you have to skip over them because you realize you are missing one tiny piece of information…

The infamous email address. 

You wouldn’t believe how often this happens!  When it comes to sourcing sometimes this dreaded email address is the last piece to a puzzle that you you find out you can’t finish.

Yes, some candidates have their email addresses publicly listed on one of their many online profiles.  Great!  They’re easy.  But what do you do for the ones that don’t?

We’ve reached out to our own community of veteran sourcers and put together this list of the best tools to help find a candidate’s email address.

Here is our top 10:

  1. Hiretual

Hiretual seemed the most popular in our community.

They offer a free plan but plans start at $89.  Best part is with the premium plan your unused credits roll over.

Hiretual is a powerful extension that also comes with an AI sourcing assistant.  You can submit your sourcing tasks and let the AI assistant do the sourcing for you.

2. Contact Out

Offers a 30 day trial where you get 50 free credits per day.

This company is great at finding personal emails and phone numbers.  This email finding tool triple verifies and has a 97% accuracy rating.  The company claims their extension can find a personal email for 65% of the Western World and is used by 30% of the Fortune 500.

3.  Nymeria

Plans start as little as $9/month with a limit of 1,000 emails.

This one is also a chrome extension that helps to find emails on LinkedIn.

4. Lusha 

With this one you get 5 free credits a month, plans start as low as $29/mo (when billed annually)

Lusha was another extension highly recommended by our sourcers.  It allows you to find personal emails (you know we love those!) For many candidates it also provides a phone number.

5. Hunter

100 free credits a month.  Paid plans start at $39/mo when billed annually.

This was another popular tool to find email address.  Hunter offers an email finder, domain search and email verification (95% of verified emails are deliverable).

6.  Rocketreach

Free plans start with 5 credits per month.  Paid plans start at $49 a month.

Rocketreach has a database of over 250 million professionals across 6 million companies. You can use it to find personal and work emails, phone numbers, and full profile information from 50+ sites in a single search.

7.  SellHack

First 10 credits free. Plans start at $19/month

A web extension designed for sales teams, this tool lets you build prospect, find emails and build lead lists. Features include a 12 step email verification engine that finds the best email address for someone in real time.

8. Prophet

Prophet is another useful chrome extension to find email addresses, social profiles and phone numbers. It doesn’t seem to work with LinkedIn, but works great on other sites.

9.  Advanced Twitter Search

This is less of a tool and more of a trick to find emails addresses. People get asked for their email address on Twitter all the time, advanced search helps you find the last time a prospect responded to this request.

Search for the terms (at) and (dot) in the “All these words” section of advanced search, and enter the Twitter handle of the candidate you’re interested in under the “From these accounts” section. (Don’t use the word email, you’ll just end up with a list of tweets on the topic of email).

10.  Google

Yes!  Good old Google.  You go to Google for everything else, why not to find email addresses.

Here are some search strings you can use:

  • [name] + email (or) email address
  • [name] + contact (or) contact information (or) contact me
  • + [name] + email
  • + [name] + contact

Do you have any other favorites that you use that didn’t make our list?  Let us know!

Are You Ready for GDPR? A Step-by-step Guide for Recruitment Agencies

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect businesses of all sizes from 2018, no matter where in the world they are located. With an effective date of May 25th (put it in your diary!), recruitment agencies are gearing up for stricter regulations, tougher fines and the mammoth task of auditing their current candidate data to ensure it’s GDPR compliant.

Are you prepared for the changes?

If not, don’t worry. Our handy GDPR guide explains the key details you need to know and contains a step-by-step guide for managing the rollout.

What Is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a ramped-up piece of data protection legislation originating from the European Union. It impacts any company, anywhere, that retains EU customer data, including small recruitment agencies with fewer than 250 employees.

The legislation is built around two key principles: giving the public more control over their personal data and standardizing regulations for data processing so far as it relates to EU citizens. The purpose is to ensure that everyone has the right to actively consent to use of personal data, the right to be forgotten, and the right to seek compensation should they suffer a data breach.

Failure to comply will result in massive fines of up to €20 million or 4 percent of annual turnover, whichever is higher. There’s no excuse for ignoring the changes. The regulators clearly mean business!

Seven-Step Checklist for Recruitment Agencies

Here are the seven steps you should be taking to prepare for the GDPR. Be aware that the legislation does not just affect your talent pool. Rather, it applies to all the data you are holding and using, whether it belongs to candidates, past and present employees, partners or suppliers.

1. Check and Refresh Your Current Processes

GDPR requires that you have clear processes in place to detect, investigate and report data breaches, and to locate, monitor and edit data. How would you react if a candidate asked to have her personal data deleted for example? Providing an easy-access online portal where candidates can edit their personal data and manage subscription details and job alerts should now be considered basic practice.

2. Audit Your Data

It’s important to understand what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. So, take a look at your website registrations, databases, spreadsheets, shared folders, event lists, timesheets and all the other places where you process information. Moving forward, you’ll be expected to maintain records of the various touch points.

3. Update Your Privacy Policy

Update your current privacy notice to include the information you have to tell people under the GDPR. Typically, this will include:

  • What data you’re storing
  • Why you’re storing that data
  • How you’ll be using it
  • The categories of recipients you may be sending the data to (employer, supplier, etc.)
  • How long you’ll be storing the data for. Best practice suggests that you should not retain candidate data for longer than two years with a re-opt in.
  • How candidates can withdraw consent (and make it easy for them to do so)

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has issued guidelines for drafting clear, easy-to-understand privacy notices which you might find useful. Transparency is key, and regulators are likely to clamp down hard on companies that seek to hide data-protection information in the small print.

4. Rewrite Your Candidate Agreement

Under GDPR, you must get explicit consent to storing a candidate’s personal data — no more pre-ticked boxes on your website sign-up. You have 30 days from the point of storing the data to get consent, and current EU guidance recommends that consent requests be kept separate from other terms and conditions. In practice, this means rewriting your website candidate agreement to include a very clear, specific statement of consent and a positive opt-in.

5. Re-paper Your Current Candidates

Reach out to everyone on your database, confirming they’re still happy to be on file. Point candidates towards your new candidate agreement and have them re-opt in to confirm consent. A central tenet of the GDPR is not holding onto data longer than is necessary, so use the legislation as an opportunity to monitor “dead” data. Your recruitment software should highlight which candidates are active and which are inactive so you can plan to refresh or delete data accordingly.

6. Update Your Internal Policy Documents

GDPR requires that every staff member understands and plays their part in data protection, so update your internal policy documents and train your employees in data protection and the process for managing data-access requests. Build processes to pick up any data breaches and report these to the person responsible for compliance. Just one slip-up from a team member could seriously cost your agency, so ensure that everyone understands that they’re accountable.

7. Delegate Data Responsibility

If required, appoint a data protection officer (DPO) to ensure the agency complies with GDPR and be the contact for any data-protection queries. Not all recruitment agencies will need one, but given the consequences of GDPR violation, it’s wise to have someone accountable for your team’s compliance.

Sounds Complicated – Why Should I Care?

No doubt GDPR compliance can be overwhelming, but handled properly, it ultimately could benefit our business. No one likes having their data stolen, lost or shared without proper consent. By proving that your agency is compliant with the new laws, you could earn your candidates’ trust, enhance your reputation, and be the agency that respects personal data and better secures candidates against the future pain of data breaches.



Beginners Guide to Sourcing for Visage


This beginner’s guide to sourcing for Visage will show you the ins and outs of how to become a freelance sourcer and how to get paid for using your recruiting skills.

How Does Visage Work?

The Visage process is simple by design. After completing your initial user profile, you will have access to a variety of jobs. You can search through the available jobs and select the one that best suits your recruiting skill and network of talent. Then, you can start uploading qualified candidate profiles and start earning money.

How Will You Be Paid as a Sourcer?

The good news is that you receive payment whether your candidate is selected for the job or not. That’s right! Visage will pay you for every prospective candidate that is validated and approved by the Visage experts.

As soon as you submit a candidate, your unique Visage Sourcer ID number is attached to the candidate and listed on your personal dashboard. Once the candidate review process is complete, you will see a thumbs up, meaning your candidate is approved, or a thumbs down, signifying that the candidate has been disqualified. You will also see the reason why.

Each sourcer is paid weekly through the online payment platform Payoneer for every candidate who has completed the review process and been approved.

Who Can Source for Visage?

Visage allows both experienced and novice recruiters. The only qualification is that you must be able to submit complete profiles for top talent candidates, whose skills match the employer’s criteria. It is important, however, to realize that Visage is not a job board prototype, nor does it offer online recruitment tools.

As a freelance recruiter, you are responsible for obtaining and developing your own recruitment tools and strategies. If you are an experienced recruiter or you have an extensive network of qualified candidates, then you will be an ideal sourcer for Visage.

How Many Referrals Can a Recruiter Make?

There is really no limit to how many candidates a recruiter can submit when working with Visage. You are, however, limited to uploading 100 candidate profiles at a time. Once you reach your 100 profile limit, you must wait until these candidates have passed through the review process before you can upload more candidates.

Are you ready to put your recruiting skills to work and earn money by working at home?

Then contact Visage today and start connecting top talent with the employers that need them.


Startup founders — have you checked Dave’s references?

So here you go, you finally got Dave to join your startup. Dave is a full stack developer and knows his stuff. After graduating with a top computer science degree, Dave joined Twitter’s graduate program where he got to work with the latest technologies and super smart guys. 9 months after, he then got an offer from Pinterest he couldn’t refuse to work on their in-app messaging system. 6 months in the job, Dave did a fantastic job leading a small team to a Beta version.

You’ve met Dave at Demo day and got fascinated by his career so far and track record. You had numerous questions on his technological prowess. Dave responded diligently even showing interest in your startup and product. This is when you dare to ask the question: “Dave, we happen to be looking for a top full stack to help us build Twitter meets Pinterest meet Education”. To your surprise, Dave is keen. You immediately arrange an interview with your co-founder. You and your co-founder both have extensive experience in Education and have a vision to revolutionise how information is shared within and between universities. Interview goes superbly well and you make an offer to Dave slightly higher than what he gets at Pinterest to justify the move. With this new hire, you have about 5 months of running rate before you spend all the co-founders personal money.

You live the dream for the first few weeks. Dave seems busy. He definitely puts the all nighters considering how tired he looks when you meet for follow-up meetings. Four weeks later, you ask Dave to show his progress and he walks you through some incredibly complex lines of code. He seems confident you will have a MVP in three months. Two months later, the co-founders invite Dave excited to see a demo of their Beta. Dave asks for three more weeks as he has encountered some unexpected technical challenges. The co-founders get increasingly worried so they call in a friend who happens to be head of engineering in another tech startup. They show the app progress on Github. This is when the friend breaks the news: “This has been made by a dog. This is nowhere near a MVP. You can throw it all”. Five months have passed and they are back to square one. The co-founders have spent all their money and have nothing to show for it.

“This has been made by a dog. This is nowhere near a MVP. You can throw it all”.

If the co-founders had checked Dave’s references, they would have known he is not the world class full stack developer he’s pretending to be. The reality is that Dave cheated his way through Twitter graduate program. He got sacked but was clever enough to land a job quickly at Pinterest who at the time didn’t have stringent tests and reference checks. When the co-founders spoke to Dave, he had already been sacked by Pinterest for always showing up late and most of the time drunk.

The reality is that Dave cheated his way through Twitter graduate program.

Checking references is a tedious job. I believe we don’t do it as we are unconsciously scared to see what’s under the bonnet. It takes so much time and effort to attract someone who ticks the boxes. We usually end up with only one contender. We want to believe she is just the right one! But here is the reality, checking references is probably the most important thing you will do when you hire.

Checking references is probably the most important thing you will do when you hire.

Checking references means calling up people the applicant has worked with. Ideally three people the applicant has given the contact details of and two people in your network who might know her. It’s got to be a conversation (not an email with the usual questions). Ask things like “Why did she leave the company? What didn’t you like working with her? Would you hire her if you started a startup? How did her performance compare with other team members?”.

“Why did she leave the company? What didn’t you like working with her?”

If you ask the right questions and look for clues, it would give you a great insight about the applicant. It will even help you work with her as you know her strengths and weaknesses and personality traits.

Names, companies, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously

Joss Leufrancois is the founder & CEO of crowdsourced recruiting platform for startups, Visage. He has worked for 10 years recruiting in Europe, the US, South America, Asia and the Middle-East.

Crowdsourcing for Renewable-Energy Talent


Remember how you recognized early on that renewable energy was the wave of the future? That’s why you’ve put yourself in a position to be at the forefront of this trend. Whether it’s solar, offshore wind or any other form of renewable energy, the industry is expanding so quickly, in fact, that it can be difficult to find green energy talent.

Visage helps you fill your renewable-energy jobs with people that are not looking. Passive talent makes up 75% of the talent market. Our platform helps clean energy employers connect with this talent instantly.

Crowdsourcing “Green” Talent

At Visage, we take the time to find the best candidates for renewable-energy jobs and put them right in front of you. We know how hard it can be to find suitable green energy talent. After all, more than 200,000 people already work in the solar industry alone. Even more impressively, experts expect this number to double by 2020.

It’s not just solar energy that’s experiencing growth though. In fact, 2015 saw the largest annual increase in renewable electricity in history. The only unfortunate aspect of this growth is the fact that it leads to a shortage of green energy talent as more renewable-energy jobs become available.

Leading the Way in Green Energy Talent

Cities all over the world are working toward increasing their renewable-energy capabilities, but the San Francisco Bay Area is leading investment in green tech. Unlike some other areas, they’re focusing on more than just one or two sources. In fact, the city hopes to reach the 100 percent renewable-energy mark through solar, wind, biomass, biofuels, geothermal and hydro-powered electricity.

Regardless of your company’s location, you can connect instantly with the best green energy talent through the Visage crowdsource model. You’ll have access to our specialists, who will crowdsource up to 250 candidates and handpick the 10 with the best qualifications for your position. Forget about taking a chance with job boards or recruiting agencies: You’ll find the best green energy talent through Visage every time.

Renewable Energy is Here to Stay

While the implications of the 2016 U.S. election may have you worried about the future of solar and other renewable energies, you can put those worries to rest. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or “NREL,” stated that “64 percent of electricity-capacity additions in 2015” were renewable sources.

There was once a time when policies could prove detrimental to the renewable-energy industry, but that time has passed. Economics alone will keep the growth in green-energy sources going strong, so it’s time to find the best-possible talent for your business.

If you’re ready to make your job easier, then let Visage help you recruit and hire the best green energy talent out there. Reach out to recruiters at Visage now, and you could have your next stellar employee in about three weeks.

Confessions of a Customer Success Manager


As Customer Success Manager for Visage, my main objective everyday used to be: Make sure every client is happy at the end of the day, eager to come back and spend more. Simple right? Well it’s not really that simple.

As I have grown into my role, I have learnt that CSM involves a variety of processes but most importantly, it involves forward thinking – prevention is better than intervention! This is my main objective everyday now.

This means it is not necessarily the client that you are focusing on everyday, but rather the processes of the company and product that facilitate client engagement and experience. Be curious – test and track everything!

Recently, I have learnt that there are 3 main areas to work on:

  1. Success and Product Value:

As a company and team you need to clearly define, understand and promote what success is for the client. Do not be afraid to remind your clients what you promised and delivered. This is a vital step (and often completely missed). Reinforce your value: go back and tell your client what you promised, what you delivered and the value you provided. This is where we lost the mark – we did not even know ourselves what success for the client should be. This isn’t a bad thing, as long as you can recognize that and correct it.

  1. Effective Client Mechanisms:

CSM requires you to constantly learn and to put yourself in the client’s position. A client is 85% less likely to return if they need to provide a lot of effort for the service! To relate this to recruitment and our product – we aim to remove the pain of cost, time and effort, so why implement a long and drawn out feedback process for your clients that you are trying to save time on in the first place? This was our major downfall. We expected our clients to constantly critique each candidate along the way. You need to bring out your innovative side and think about a process that requires little effort but is still effective for you to provide what you promised.

  1. The Team:

A very important and surprising lesson I learnt recently is that CSM is not my job, but rather the entire team’s. It’s an operating system! As Customer Success Manager, you need to ensure your entire team is aligned and synced on every aspect of the product and process. Every team member is accountable for CSM, from the CEO and CTO to each freelance recruiter we have. Involve each team member in your ideas and the progress of each client – you will be pleasantly surprised at the input and value each one can add to the ultimate end goal – a happy and returning customer!

Overall, as a Customer Success Manager I encourage myself everyday to step out of my comfort zone and to take on functional roles that drive and deliver high product value. In fact, this blog post was one of my biggest challenges!

Jeanita Artz – Physical therapist turned start-up enthusiast and Customer Success Champ! Crossfit addict and a great cook.




Hello America! Joining the Alchemist

Do you ever wake up feeling something great is going to happen to you during the day? That’s the feeling I had last Wednesday morning. I knew the Alchemist accelerator results were due the night before. Although I knew we had a chance, I wasn’t overly confident having been rejected when we applied last. I decided however to trick my mind into believing an email had come saying: “Congratulations, you guys are rockstars and your product is dope”. This was the actual email:

and my reaction:

So why the Valley?

It starts with our ambition. My co-founders, Emmanuel and Barry, and I have always considered Dubai as a lab for what we think could have a global impact on the way recruitment is done. We have been able to experiment and make mistakes on a relatively tricky talent market. We knew however the local market even extended to the region wasn’t big enough. Visage’s ideal client is indeed one that requires to attract the top 10% of the talent market. It’s a client who operates in a candidate driven market where it is required to pro-actively target passive talent.

There is a reason why 98% of the unicorns are born in the Valley. This place has the most extraordinary concentration of brains, energy, and venture money.

We know it’s a cut throat place where winners take all. We embrace that. We don’t want to build another lifestyle average business. We want to revolutionise the way recruitment is done allowing talent and opportunities to connect instantly.

And the Alchemist?

We couldn’t dream of a better launchpad than the Alchemist for Visage. They only accept B to B startups and take them through a 6 months program designed to facilitate access to enterprise clients, mentors and, investors. They only take small cohorts (we will be 9 startups). The Alchemist track record is extraordinary. They’ve actually topped a survey ranking the accelerators by funding their graduates receive. Their startups median fund raise is twice higher than YC.

We are due to join the program on the 30th of November but we’ve already been connected to 3 mentors. My first mentorship session is with the former CEO of a freelance platform everybody knows…

So what now?

We are now busy preparing our acceleration program. It means making sure we carry on our growth in the Middle-East servicing clients. We are also closing a bridge round which will give us the ammunitions required to push our tech and marketing before graduating the Alchemist.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to participate in the venture. We need talent, smart money, and encouragements!

Joss Leufrancois is the co-founder & CEO of crowdsourced recruiting platform,Visage.